Sandeshkhali ‘mistruth’ spread by BJP using money, EC working under Modi govt’s diktats: Mamata

Bolpur (WB), May 5 (PTI) Alleging that “mistruth” about Sandeshkhali was spread by the BJP using money, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop “shedding crocodile tears” as the “conspiracy hatched by the saffron party” has come to the fore with the unravelling of a recent sting.

Banerjee accused the Election Commission of working under the diktat of the Modi government and turning a blind eye to the splashing of full page ads in a section of the print media with his photo.

“Why do you (Modi) need to put up your photo in newspapers if you are so confident about winning people’s support for your projects? The polls are on and Model Code of Conduct is in force. I know papers might have compulsions, I know they cannot refuse central government ads,” she said while addressing an election rally in Bolpur in support of TMC candidate and sitting Bolpur MP Asit Kumar Mal and Birbhum TMC nominee and sitting MP Satabdi Roy.

The TMC chairperson said her party was mulling to move the Election Commission over the issue.

“If we have to garland Rabindranath Tagore’s statue on his birth anniversary day, we need to take the permission of the commission. But the EC sits idle then these things happen,” she said.

About Sandeshkhali, Banerjee said, “Blatant lies were invented by the BJP, which plotted a conspiracy by giving money to some people to tell lies.” The TMC on Saturday released a video on social media, in which a man, who claimed to be a BJP mandal president in Sandeshkhali, was heard saying that leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, was behind the “whole conspiracy”.

In the purported video, the authenticity of which could not be independently verified by PTI, the man was heard saying that Adhikari had asked him and other BJP leaders of the area to “instigate three-four local women to level allegations of rape against three TMC leaders, including Shajahan Sheikh”.

“Did anyone ever imagine that BJP would stoop so low that it would spread canards on Sandeshkhali? Don’t dishonour the mothers of West Bengal by leveling such heinous allegations. Don’t dare try to disrespect women of the state by offering them money to level false allegations against our party,” Banerjee said.

Accusing PM Modi of taking the words of “few people” in his party on face value, she said that “by seeing the reaction of BJP leaders to the video, it was apparent that they were scared”.

“If some people, including those from the TMC, committed any wrong, the party and the state government have always been quick to take disciplinary action against them, no matter how powerful they are,” she asserted.

Accusing the BJP of “having taken the CB, ED, IT under its wing,” she said, “two years passed since Kesto (TMC’s Birbhum strongman Anubrata Mondal) was imprisoned in smuggling cases, but they could not frame charges.”

Banerjee accused Modi of discriminating other sporting venues in the country by staging most international matches in Gujarat.

In a dig at Modi’s claims to be a devout Hindu, Banerjee asked the PM why he finds faults with her chanting of mantras and performing rituals.

“I follow the Chandi Path of Belur Ramakrishna Mission and one of the revered monks had in past overseen the puja arrangements at my home.

Have some knowledge about the diverse religious rituals in India. You (Modi) seem don’t have any idea. Please don’t try to enter into any argument about dharma with me,” she said.

Do you know how many incarnations of Durga are there, do you know about all the goddesses? Can you recite the mantra of Kojagari Lakshmi puja in Bengal?,” she said in an apparent reference to Modi.

Banerjee reiterated Modi has been trying to impose diktat on what to eat on all Hindus, “ignoring the individual customs, rituals and dietary habits of Bengal and many other communities.”

She described the BJP as a “promoter of riots and violence which leads to loss of lives. Such hate-filled violent politics is the hallmark of the BJP.”

Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district had erupted in protests after women accused now-suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his associates of sexual abuse and land grabbing. He has been arrested and is now in CBI custody.

After the rally in Birbhum, Banerjee took part in a colourful road show in Bardhaman, in support of Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat candidate Kirti Azad.

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